Need for Speed Unbound Rumours: Story, Chicago map, game modes, cops & more

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Need for Speed 2022 rumours

After months of Need for Speed 2022 rumours, Need for Speed Unbound has finally been revealed! NFS Unbound will be released before the end of the year, but what has been confirmed and what could be revealed before launch day?

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Need for Speed Unbound rumours

There are plenty of Need for Speed Unbound rumours going around right now.

A lot of the rumours going around before the game was confirmed proved to be true. Everything from the location to cop chases to the unusual art style. We summed up what the rumours mill was churning out on our YouTube channel:

Latest news - Need for Speed Takeover gameplay trailer revealed

EA has released a new Need for Speed gameplay trailer, this time focusing on the new Takeover mode featuring A$AP Rocky.

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Release date confirmed

EA insider Tom Henderson leaked that the 2022 Need for Speed game was going to be released on released on 2 December.

This turned out to be true, and those that pre-order the Palace Edition can enjoy NFS Unbound three days early.

Need for Speed 2022 rumours
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EA was targeting a November release, but this delay until December goes along with what VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb told Giant Bomb. Grubb said Criterion was “going to take a few extra weeks before showing it off.”

As for why Unbound was delayed, Grubb believes Criterion “got sidetracked” when working on Battlefield 2042 with DICE, resulting in a “ripple effect.”

Unbound aiming for a new generation of fans, classic modes removed

According to a Reddit user who claims to know an EA employee, Unbound is a "soft reboot" aimed at a younger audience, introducing the franchise to a new generation.

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As part of this new direction, classic features will apparently be removed: popular game modes like drag racing and drift events won’t be in Unbound, according to the Reddit user.

Last seen in NFS Payback, Speedcross, is expected to return, however. Car upgrades are also reportedly going to be simplified and similar to Forza with a numbered system.

From what we've seen from the customisation in NFS Unbound, this will have the most comprehensive custom options ever. It's not clear whether a Forza-style system will be in place for performance upgrades, but it's possible.

As for the game modes, we've had Takeover and Cop chases have been confirmed, but nothing yet on drag and drifting events.

Story mode

Like in NFS Heat, NFS 2022 is expected to have a story mode with characters and cut scenes. Rapper A$AP Rocky will have a noticeable role in the game, but it isn't yet clear whether his character is friend or foe.

Need for Speed 2022 A$AP Rocky
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According to the leak on Reddit, NFS Unbound's story will feature a diverse cast of characters with “strong female/cultural representation.” Allegedly, the intro cutscene features a BMW doing without doors.

Cop chases

Police chases were prominent in Need for Speed Heat and will return for Unbound.

Need for Speed Heat cop chase
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According to a Reddit user who claims to know an EA employee, abandoned cars can be stolen.

If you steal one of these cars, cops will appear out of nowhere and start a high level chase in Corvettes and SWAT vans, according to the leaker.

Now, we have had "Car Delivery Jobs", which are similar to the above rumour. There's also Passenger Delivery Jobs too, but head over to our gameplay article to learn more about that.

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Leaked screenshot

Another user has also shared what appears to be a leaked internal screenshot from the game. Shared on Twitter, the leaked screenshot shows the map in the HUD and a Lamborghini Countach.

Need for SPeed 2022 leaked screenshot
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Chicago-inspired location

Another one of the key Need for Speed 2022 rumours is the location of the map we will be racing in.

A leaked map that was later confirmed to be true, suggested it will be a vast open world. With a variety of environments to explore from bustling city streets to rural roads and highways, this is an impressive map.

Need for Speed 2022 rumours
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According to VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb, Criterion wants to make Lake Shore City “feel like a real city, even though it’s a fictionalised version of a city.” Henderson supported this, adding that the location will have “unique" tracks with a large train running through the map.

Car meets

Criterion pioneered Autolog for Hot Pursuit, a social network inspired by Facebook allowing players to compare high scores and share photos with friends. Online multiplayer will also be a big focus in Unbound.

Criterion’s Autolog system is expected to return in NFS 2022 along with a new Meetups feature where players meet up around the map and start races.

Need for Speed Heat
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According to a leak on Reddit, car meets will take place in car parks. Players will reportedly be able to swap cars in menus and place bets on other players to win money.

This goes along with the Risk and Reward Gameplay trailer we got recently, as there's an in-game gambling system available to players:

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Current-gen only

NFS 2022 will mark the series’ debut on current-gen platforms - and these are the only formats you can play it on.

One of the other key Need for Speed Unbound rumours was that the game will be current-gen only. This means it will only be released on PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles as well as PC but will skip the last-gen PS4 and Xbox One.

This has turned out to be true, as NFS Unbound will be a next-gen exclusive.